Darzah: 200 Years of Sartorial Heritage in Saudi Arabia
Text by Safeya Binzagr
The first high-end volume published on the traditional costumes of Saudi Arabia, with authentic and previously unpublished artworks and documentation from the acclaimed Darat Safeya Binzagr collection.
Considered the “founding mother” of Saudi Arabia’s fine art movement, Safeya Binzagr has forged a precious and unique path of opportunity and creative development for many artists, especially young women who have followed in her footsteps. As a national cultural icon, she is a respected painter, collector, and textile researcher, and one of only two female artists to ever hold an art exhibition in Saudi Arabia in 1968, as well as the very first internationally exhibited Saudi artist.
In 2000, Binzagr opened the Darat Safeya Binzagr, which houses the artist’s entire oeuvre as well as her private collection of traditional artifacts, textiles, and costumes, with meticulously documented information accumulated over the decades.
Showcasing the colors, bold patterns, and intricately embroidered designs of KSA, the beauty and variety of these Arabian garments and jewelry are undeniable, although they are practically unknown to the Western world. Each headdress, garment, and necklace is an expression of personal and regional identity, incorporating Islamic, Indian, Indonesian, Malay, and Turkish influences that trace back to the legendary world of the ancient Silk Road. Preserving costumes that are no longer worn and celebrating those that remain at the heart of communities and families alike, this lavish book provides invaluable insights and over 300 images showcasing the history and stories of Saudi Arabia through the creative expressions of its oldest inhabitants.
About The Author
Safeya Binzagr earned her degree in Fine Arts and Graphic Design from Central Saint Martins (UK). Her artworks—mainly paintings, oil on canvas, and watercolors, as well as sketches and graphic works—have been recognized both locally and internationally as authentic documents of Saudi Arabian heritage.